Work Experience

no soft skills

I had to take Ben to work a few weeks ago. It was just for an hour in between clashing delivery timetables – delivery of children to after-school activities, not babies into the world.

I know 9 isn’t 2, and his tantrum, plate-throwing days are (mostly) over. But he can be unpredictable, and he is always persistent. So I wasn’t sure how disruptive he’d be for the 4 colleagues with whom I share an office.

Reader, I was stunned.
I think I will take him to work with me every time I want a bit of peace.

He sat at the table next to me, reading his comic, looking up through his over-long surfer-dude fringe, too intimidated to say more than “Hello” “Yes” and “No”.

It was only afterwards that I realised he’d been earwigging intently the whole time.

“Do you chat all day at work?”
“You swore.”
“You’re so bossy.”

I stand, justly accused of all three offences.
But at least he’s got some idea of what I do. I chat, swear and am a bit (only a bit, mind) bossy.

I’ve been in this job for more than a year now, and my mother’s still asking me – “What is it you do, actually?”

My daughter doesn’t need to ask. Apparently I sit at a computer all day, playing games.

She used to be much more au fait with my world of work.
As a toddler she made regular appearances at the BBC, whenever her father’s work commitments stopped him from fetching her from nursery on his appointed days.

She’d sit next to me, enjoying the delights of a swivel chair, munching whatever chocolate-based substance I could buy from the shop next door, imperiously demanding attention, drinks and access to every knob within reach.

“Don’t touch that,” was my main response to her incessant chatter, as I tried to update the headlines, dial up the next interviewee and generally produce a live, drivetime, radio programme.

She’s older and wiser now, but she’s still not sure what my boss does.

“Does he sit at his desk eating sandwiches?” she asks.

“Does he put his feet up on the desk and have his feet shaved and his legs waxed?” she continues, somewhat bizarrely.

“He makes decisions,” I say.

“That’s easy,” she replies, with the confidence of a just-8-year old who recently told me her friend lives on an estatement.
“I can do that. I’ve decided not to go to school tomorrow.”

She’s got a lot to learn.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
This entry was posted in Beta Mum's Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Work Experience

  1. Iota says:

    I dunno. A decision is a decision.

  2. I think it’s great to take the kids into work. I have absolutely no idea what my dad did during the 40 years he worked!

  3. Beta Mum says:

    Iota – and she’s certainly much better at making them than her brother, or indeed her father.

    Rosie – Blog Fodder took Ben to work with him a couple of years ago – showed him around a TV studio, let him watch some editing and see the news go out. He can’t even remember it now. Your poor Dad probably took you to work day after day – and you’ve forgotten it all!

  4. Nydia says:

    LOL … when my baby was about 2 1/2 y/o I had to bring him to work and he slept thru most the day … I thought – This is great! … So I brought him back another time (still at 2y/o) and he went ape-shit all over the place … crying and throwing his cars while my boss! was in the room … I had to leave 1 hour after I had arrived due to embarrassment ….

    Well … I still have the baby and the job … Thank goodness!

    Btw, I’d like to thank both you and Ben for your comments on my blog LOL … Do come again!

  5. NIXDMINX says:

    My daughter absolutely loved coming in to the office at my last job. Free drinks, canteen (with fat chips and thin chips), Nintendo Wiis dotted around the place. She sat next to me on a little chair, playing on the Cbeebies web site and drawing, and every so often would give me a hug. It was so sweet. She also fell in love with my boss and blushed every time he spoke to her, she still talks about him in hushed tones!

  6. Omega Mum says:

    I still hope you’re secretly producing the real rough guide to the Channel Islands. Lots of very interesting decisions there. And I want to live on an estatement when I’m older. An old people’s one.

  7. Beta Mum says:

    Nydia – I can’t leave myself logged on these days, or Ben is in there, leaving comments in his own right. Surely not the way things are meant to be?

    nix – your old job sounds great for grown-ups as well as kids. Why on earth did you leave?

    OM – Great marketing idea – unfortunately I haven’t got time to think, let alone write these days.
    But when you’ve found a nice old people’s estatement, perhaps you should consider treating yourself to an Aerobics Cube, to fill those idle moments? I may even join you.

Leave a Reply